As you may or may not have heard, the refugee situation in Greece has changed. Refugees are being forcibly relocated to military camps, where volunteers have no access to. Major camps in Idomeni, Eko, etc have been evacuated and shut down. And these new military camps are much worse - limited water supply, poor food supply, terrible living conditions. Volunteer groups are facing the biggest challenge trying to work things out with the authority, just to get into these camps to deliver help. It is a very difficult transition period, for the refugees and also volunteers.
While there is so much limitation to helping out in Greece, there is another place that needs help more than ever - Turkey.
2.7 million refugees in Turkey.
I will be with a mobile medical team called MedVint (Medical Volunteers International) giving medical aids to almost 20 refugee camps in the greater Izmir area in Turkey.
There are currently about 2.7 million refugees in Turkey. In the greater Izmir area in Western Turkey, we will be supporting about 20 refugee camps, each consisting of about 20 families. They have nothing. No home, no food, no access to basic health care. They need our help! Now!
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS?
-The women and children are weak and vulnerable. They need medical support before/during/after childbirth. Young inexperienced moms and many newborns.
-Various skin problems.
-Also there is a Syrian man who underwent lower leg amputation and is in need of a prosthesis.
The list is endless.
HOW ARE WE HELPING THEM?
-We are a medical team consisting of a few doctors and nurses from Switzerland, USA, Austria, Germany, Malaysia) operating a mobile clinic. We visit up to 20 camps everyday, meet families, attend to their medical problems, and give treatments in the best ways we possible can. We have medical bags with medicines & equipments, though with very limited supplies.
-We give medical support to vulnerable women and children. Antenatal check-ups on pregnant ladies. Supporting high risk pregnancies. Helping young inexperienced moms in baby care. Frequent check-ups on newborns.
-We are also trying to help a Syrian men who had lost his leg and undergone lower leg amputation. He needs a prosthesis. It costs about 13,000 Turkish Lira (approx US$2000).
HOW WILL YOUR DONATION HELP?
With all the daily visits to different camps, we always run out of medical supplies. Your donation will help us replenish our supplies regularly, ensuring that we have what we need to give them the best treatments possible.
We need your help and support more than ever.
P.S. : We are extremely thankful for the donations we got thus far. Thank you once again. As for the majority of you who had difficulty donating through Paypal or credit/debit card, please understand that it could be due to restrictions imposed by certain banks against Paypal. You may kindly make a donation to this bank account :
Name : LING JUN MEI
Name of Bank : CIMB BANK BERHAD
SWIFT code : CIBBMYKL
Account No : 7061744543
Name : LING JUN MEI
Name of Bank : MALAYAN BANKING BERHAD (MAYBANK)
SWIFT code : MBBEMYKL
Account No : 104115132193
More updates soon.
Hi. My name is Jun, a medical graduate from Malaysia. As a young doctor, i aspire to contribute to social and humanitarian causes. I have been in contact with a good friend of mine, Nadirah, who had been to Greece 2 months ago to volunteer at refugee camps. She had seen and experienced first-hand the heartbreaking situation of the refugees who have fled their homes due to war and violence. Now she has returned from Greece, pleading for more awareness and help, and planning to return again to volunteer. Inspired and moved by her stories from the field, I have decided to be a part of this team.
Everyday, we see and hear so much about the refugee crisis in Europe, the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world since World War II. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of refugees stranded in Greece. Most of these refugees, especially women and children, are in extremely poor health conditions. They are weak and traumatized, both physically and psychologically. Under such stressful conditions, pregnant ladies suffer from antenatal risks and complications. As delivery facilities are limited, ladies give birth in tents. Mothers in distress are unable to lactate and breastfeed their newborns, and newborns are getting malnourished and ill. The lack of hygiene in the refugee camps they are stranded in makes the situation even worse. The closure of borders is turning desperation into hopelessness.
"The worst part was, finding out that the patients whom we have treated and cared for disappeared. They left the camps without any notice, just like that, to move further, to try to cross the border to the other side. Everyday, before i did my rounds in the camps to check on my patients, i would tell myself, "if i don't see them today, it means they probably have left. If i don't see them again tomorrow, it means they've made it to the other side." They just left with nothing but hope for a better future in Germany. Little did they know what was awaiting them on the other side, that that borders are close and the condition is only going to get a lot worse in Greece. I wish they knew and stayed back instead. I wish." - words by Nadirah when volunteering in Turkey in March 2016.
More stories from the field :
I have now got the opportunity to be present to help the refugees for a few months along with Nadirah. We will be working alongside amazing organisations who have been working day and night stretching beyond their capabilities to care for these desperate families. This fund will be used to buy vital things like medications, sterile gloves, safe birth kits and anything required to give antenatal, natal & postnatal medical aids to mothers and children, and essential necessities like breastfeeding-friendly cloaks (most of the refugees are packed in common camps with men and it is inconvenient for mothers to breastfeed). As summer is coming, the climate is getting warmer and more humid, hence they need mosquito repellents, sunscreen, light cotton wears, and basically anything and everything to make their living condition better. As the situation there changes from day to day, we cannot predict how severe the crisis will get, hence this fund will provide us the flexibility. Daily transportation of medicines and volunteers to the camps, functioning of the mobile clinic, etc will be a big cost too.
These mothers and children are weak, vulnerable victims of one of the most horrific violence the world has ever seen. They are desperate for your help.
We are all aware of this heartbreaking situation and most of us want to help but do not know how to, or are unable to be there physically to do so. However, your donations will definitely make a huge difference.
We need your help. Please. Your contribution will potentially save many, many lives. Let’s not allow humanity to die.
Peace, Love and Immense Gratitude.
Jun and Nadirah.